Autumn

(English translation of these beautiful lines follows)

एक वृद्धाश्रम के गेटपर लिखा हुआ एक अप्रतिम सुविचार :

land-1213474_960_720 pixabay com a

एक वृद्धाश्रम के गेटपर लिखा हुआ एक अप्रतिम सुविचार :

“नीचे गिरे सूखे पत्तों पर

अदब से चलना ज़रा …

कभी कड़ी धूप में तुमने

इनसे ही पनाह माँगी थी. ”

 

A ‘near’ translation of a sign outside a senior citizens’ home:

“Walk gently over the fallen leaves,

for you had sought their shade once up on a hot summer.”

End

 

 

Source: via Gopalaswamy, image from pixabay.com

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Squirrels in Winter

Hmmm…never quite thought about it:

Have you ever worried
about squirrels in winter?
I see them climb over snowdrifts
with their bare paws —
they have no winter boots.

I see them stop
to tuck their tiny front paws
into their armpits
for warmth —
they have no mitts.

When it rains
I see them huddle
under trees,
they still get soaked —
they have no raincoats.

They have no pants,
no dresses, no hats,
no warm winter coats,
no shelter or fires
to warm their bodies.

images

Even the homeless men
whose beds are the sidewalk
have sleeping bags
to keep them warm.
Squirrels have nothing.

Still they remain cheery,
hopping about
gathering nuts,
Who knew
it was such a hard life
for squirrels in winter?

End

 

 

Source: Squirrels in Winter For some reason reblog didn’t produce it. So ……The author has a request:  “Buy my book for $0.99 — proceeds feed the homeless: Gotta Find a Home; Conversations with Street People: http://buff.ly/1wyjiKS

 

 

 

 

 

A Minister Visits His Village

crowd gonomad.com

The incongruous mansion was abuzz with people.

For, whatever happened was quite unthinkable.

Ever since he heard of it, he was quite agitated.

Citizens’ assets, at any cost, must be protected.

*

He did not much trust his locals to repair,

so, came straight down in person to take care.

On arrival he set about cracking his whip:

The theft must be solved before sundown.

he roared – till then he wouldn’t partake a sip

of water – so they raided sparing no village or town.

*

By noon he sat down for a sumptuous lunch,

grinning more than a cat proud with its catch -.

efficient law men in a trice had the theft undone

though  thieves rounded up somehow were none.

It mattered little now – the buffaloes were restored

back to the owner – the minister, for all he cared.

*

Law rightly upheld, now justice was due

to butter chicken, dal makhani, roti’s…phew.

A blissful siesta and he was ready for lok darbar.

To air their grievances villagers from near and far

came – it was all about stray dogs, water and power,

leaky class-rooms, broken benches and no doctor.

All deftly handled – he gave away nothing,

copious note diligently made for safe filing.

*

There was this bunch that came in at the end,

eyes down, tongue tied and shuffling around.

Words came out with fear in their tremulous voice:

“They stole our buffaloes this morning…the police.”

;

End

.

PS: lok darbar is a public forum.

Source: Image from gonomad.com

A Modest Rejoinder

publicdomainvectors.org

A supercilious nabob of the East–

Haughty, being great–purse-proud, being rich–

A governor, or general, at the least,

I have forgotten which–

Had in his family a humble youth,

Who went from England in his patron’s suite,

An unassuming boy, and in truth

A lad of decent parts, and good repute.

*

This youth had sense and spirit;

But yet, with all his sense,

Excessive diffidence

Obscured his merit.

*

One day, at table, flushed with pride and wine,

His honor, proudly free, severely merry,

Conceived it would be vastly fine

To crack a joke upon his secretary.

*

“Young man,” he said, “by what art, craft, or trade,

Did your good father gain a livelihood?”–

“He was a saddler, sir,” Modestus said,

“And in his time was reckoned good.”

*

“A saddler, eh! and taught you Greek,

Instead of teaching you to sew!

Pray, why did not your father make

A saddler, sir, of you?”

*

Each parasite, then, as in duty bound,

The joke applauded, and the laugh went round.

At length Modestus, bowing low,

Said (craving pardon, if too free he made),

“Sir, by your leave, I fain would know

Your father’s trade!”

Young Man

“My father’s trade! Bless me, that’s too bad!

My father’s trade? Why, blockhead, are you mad?

My father, sir, did never stoop so low–

He was a gentleman, I’d have you know.”

*

“Excuse the liberty I take,”

Modestus said, with archness on his brow,

“Pray, why did not your father make

A gentleman of you?”

End

.

.

.
Author: Anonymous, More at http://www.poetry-archive.com

Images from publicdomainvectors.org and ocw.ksu.edu.tw

Doors opening, closing on us

K S Santhana Krishnan 1

Maybe there is more of the magical

in the idea of a door than in the door
itself. It’s always a matter of going
through into something else. But

while some doors lead to cathedrals
arching up overhead like stormy skies
and some to sumptuous auditoriums
and some to caves of nuclear monsters

most just yield a bathroom or a closet.
Still, the image of a door is liminal,
passing from one place into another
one state to the other, boundaries

and promises and threats. Inside
to outside, light into dark, dark into
light, cold into warm, known into
strange, safe into terror, wind

K S Santhana Krishnan 2

into stillness, silence into noise
or music. We slice our life into
segments by rituals, each a door
to a presumed new phase. We see

ourselves progressing from room
to room perhaps dragging our toys
along until the last door opens
and we pass at last into was.

End

(c) 2015 Marge Piercy. Originally published by the Academy of American Poets, www.poets.org. Distributed by King Features Syndicate

Paintings are from K S Santhanakrishnan.

Life at Sixty Five Plus

happy-old-man-20295614

What if I’m a little short of breath,
with a mouthful of missing teeth?
For, three score and five laps I’ve run,
without a puff or pant, around the Sun.

While the busy world nods indulgently,
I do just as I please quite really.
I get away with it most oftenly,
chuckling to myself quite innardly.

Prim and proper, is tyranny.
Conformance is pure baloney.
Some are shocked, some embarrassed,
but it’s never me that’s unduly bothered.

All days are weekends, no Monday blues.
No deadlines nor powerpoint slides.
Well, customers don’t rise to the bait?
I am not anymore losing my sleep over it.

At home, when served the dinner,
I slurp on the soup loud and clear,
I scratch myself where it itches,
And clear my throat when it feels.

The wife of many years takes on motherly hues.
Now she lets me have her…er…my ways.
Endless cups of coffee around,
books to read piled up in a mound.

No daughter coming home late,
nor a son sweating out for a break.
No screaming, swearing or sulking,
A reign of peace so becalming.

No two thoughts, when I go out in the evening –
a shirt could have a frayed collar and a button missing.
A cuff rolled up there and here a cuff rolled down,
a shocking green goes very well with a light brown.

At the bank the surly clerk is all polite
returning my check for signing it right.
That’s the friendly pharmacist calling out
after me for his payment no doubt.

I hand out a hundred rupee note
for a twelve –rupee ride to the Fort.
I get my ticket and change back without a fuss.
Someone gives up for me his seat on the bus.

I butt into conversation, no one objects.
Make statements on any subject, no one argues.
I choose to hear now and I hear not now.
So convenient, you can’t imagine how.

I wish perfect strangers in the park,
and accost with candies children in my walk.
I make friends with the pigeon on the ledge,
and watch the buds open up on the hedge.

It’s surely fun to be at sixty five plus, I found.
‘Gone soft in the head,’ they discount.
After living long years to pleasing them all,
doing just what I please, I’m having a ball.

End

(a rerun from end 2011)

Credits: Image from dreamstime.com